31 Jan 2019 20:59

Roskomnadzor demands removal of banned info from article in Norwegian publication

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) - Roskomnadzor media watchdog issued a warning to Norway's Barents Observer publishing materials in Russian and is determined to work for the removal of a specific article with a detailed description of a form of suicide, its press secretary Vadim Ampelonsky said to Interfax on Thursday.

"As the publication uses the https protocol, if one of its pages is blocked, the entire website will be out of reach. That's why Roskomnadzor is determined to work for the removal of banned information amounting to a detailed description of a form of suicide," Ampelonsky said.

He said the warning was issued precisely due to the description of the form of suicide in the article. "It is this very information that is banned by a Rospotrebnadzor resolution," the press secretary said.

As reported, the Barents Observer that publishes part of its materials in Russian received a warning from Roskomnadzor. According to the publication, on January 28 Roskomnadzor sent a letter to the editorial office demanding the removal of an article about a gay from Sweden, Dan Eriksson.

The article says that Eriksson tried to commit suicide twice due to his homosexuality but later reached spiritual balance and now is a volunteer with Suicide Zero non-profit organization.

Eriksson's story was initially published in Sweden's Arjeplognytt. Later Barents Observer translated the article into English and Russian and published it.

The Norwegian publication says that the Russian authority gave it 24 hours for the removal of the article, otherwise access to the website in Russia will be restricted. However, its editor Thomas Nilsen said that he doesn't intend to fulfill the demand.

Presently, the web page of Barents Observer with the article is accessible in Russian territory.

In March 2017, Nilsen was denied entry to Russia at Borisoglebsk checkpoint. He had accreditation and a five-year Russian visa but Russian border guards did not allow him to cross the border saying the journalist was banned entry for five years for reasons of state security.

Later, the Russian embassy in Norway announced that the ban on Nilsen's entry was related to Russian black lists compiled in response to Norway's accession to anti-Russian sanctions. Later Nilsen tried to protest the decision of border guards in Russian courts of different instances, including the Supreme Court, but failed.